Man. It sure didn’t take long for this blog to go from thoughts on wine and and the occasional marathon to OMG HOMEOWNING DECORATING DIY ALL THE THINGS.
I’m sorry. Really, I am.
But I guess this is my life now. My how the mighty have fallen.
So I’m going to be straight with you, because I feel like we’re close enough for honesty at this point. This tiny gallery wall? Way harder than I expected. I thought it would be all sunshine and roses and nails and hammers, but NO. There was math involved people. MATH. And it took me like three tries. But I persevered, because I am a fighter. And also because I had no backup plan for this wall.
And if you happen to notice something that is crooked or off center, please, for the love of God – DO NOT TELL ME.
I really do have the best of intentions for a full photographic home tour in the next couple of months, but for now I’ll just give you a little background. The house we bought is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath that’s around 1800 square feet. Not too big (though it certainly feels big), not too small, just right for us.
When you walk in the front door, the main living and dining area is directly to your right. However, if you keep going straight, there’s another smaller living area, with a fireplace and a set of french doors leading out to the backyard. Taylor and I are still undecided on what to call it, so for now we’re just calling it “that other room.” It’s fine. It’s functional. It works.
When we bought the house, one of the things I knew I wanted was a dedicated office space. (Something other than a chair in the corner of living room that also served as primary laundry folding space.) I didn’t need an entire room, but I did want a little space or corner that I could call my own. And “that other room” seemed to fit the bill.
It’s still a major major work in progress. There are piles of boxes on either side of the desk, and cords hanging out everywhere. Right now it’s little more than a desk and this gallery wall, but I still love it. I love the view of the backyard to my right, and I love the way the sun shines through the entryway when it starts to rise in the morning.
Whoa. Did I just get cheesy about the way the sun shines through a door? WHAT HAVE I BECOME. And what was I even talking about? Gallery wall. RIGHT. Reign it in, focus Natalie.
So on Saturday morning I pulled out every photo or piece of art we own with any gallery wall potential. I laid them all on a table, arranged them, stared at them for five minutes and then rearranged. I repeated that about 101 times and this little arrangement is what I ended up with.
HA. You didn’t believe me when I said the room was still total chaos and covered in boxes did you? Oh ye of little faith.
At this point, I was already exhausted. And I thought about just winging it and nailing things into the wall all willy nilly. But then I remembered how positively pissed Taylor would be if he had to fill in and paint over a million nail holes due to my lack of patience, so I followed Pinterest’s lead and traced everything on paper. And then I cut it, which was a nightmare, because I’m not a kindergarten teacher and I really shouldn’t be allowed to use scissors at all. However, I persevered and finally managed to cut everything out and arrange it on the wall.
Then I had to bust out the level and the measuring tape to make sure everything was straight. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t. So I proceeded to measure and level, measure and level, repeat 101 times until exhausted/good enough. And then VOILA, 47 hours later, the gallery wall was complete!
A few engagement photos, a pretty greeting cards, my Roald Dahl watercolor from Katie Ellisor, leftover wedding decor, print from a trip to Boston, “Where thou art, that is home” print, a random bridal portrait (because I’m vain I guess?), and last but certainly not least, my beloved “But a bitch ain’t one” stitching.
And that’s all folks. Now I just need a rug, an actual office chair, and four million more things to fill the remaining blank wall space but HEY – progress is progress amiright?
Happy Monday! Before we begin the journey of me telling you about my weekend and you pretending to actually care, let’s all pause for a moment to raise our “coffee mugs” and reflect on the gift of Monday in general.
Okay GOOD glad that’s over with. Friday after work, Taylor and I headed up north to have dinner with Morgan and Jordan. And the minute we walked in the door we were greeted with the smell of pizza, a glass of wine, and the SWEETEST housewarming gifts ever of all time ever ever ever.
Jordan and Morgan have been working on their house quite a bit over the last few months too, so every time we visit, I get to ooooh and ahhh over their latest updates. Their most recent was this set of Anthropologie inspired DIY shelves. I am OBSESSED with all the gold. And the house for Ferguson the cat. Okay, mainly the cat house.
I’m going to get sappy for two seconds and say that the older I get the more I appreciate the sweetness of these nights spent in the company of good friends. There’s nothing like good conversation accompanied by a good bottle of wine. OK I’M DONE. The moment’s over. Moving on.
Saturday morning I woke up in major project mode. I hit up The Container Store, At Home, Target, and every other store in the city of Fort Worth before finally arriving back home to work on some house projects. My favorite of which has to be our NEW DINING TABLE/CHAIRS/RUG/EVERYTHING.
We still don’t have our end chairs yet, but I am beyond beyond beyond obsessed with how everything is coming together. We’ve been able to achieve my little vision for this space and still come in under budget, and I could not be more thrilled with how it’s turned out.
The other project I spent Saturday tackling was my office space and gallery wall. I’m going to do a full reveal tomorrow, so for now I’ll leave you with this teeny tiny Instagram teaser.
I was so in the zone with all my house projects Saturday, that I nearly forgot I had an event to attend! Every year, my company sponsors a fundraising event for an organization called Our Father’s Children, and Saturday evening I was lucky enough to attend the 10th annual dinner and auction.
This year’s guest speaker was Michael Young, and it was SUCH a blast. He was a mega-hottie (did I say that?! Oops.) and so, so funny. He even threw on a cowboy hat and played auctioneer for a portion of the evening. The event was a huge success and OFC was able to raise over $150,000! YAY for so many generous people.
Sunday was BUSY. Why does it always work out that way? WHY. Anyway, Taylor and I spent most of the day with my family, and then hit up an early (and very healthy) dinner before the Pentatonix concert.
Once we were full of cheese and tequila, we were headed to the concert!
Our seats were definitely nosebleeds, but the concert was UNREAL. These guys are so good. So, so good.
My favorite performances of the night were the Evolution of Beyonce, On My Way Home, and of course the classic Daft Punk. But really, the entire thing was just amazing. Taylor and I were so psyched up after the concert that we attempted to beat box all the way home. We’re really good. Just so you know.
We’re old people, so we laughed that we really appreciated the fact that the concert was over by 10pm. Because Mondays are HARD and ain’t nobody got time for staying up until midnight. NOBODY.
I’m lucky enough to have Good Friday off, and oh friends, I am so looking forward to this four day week. But now it’s your turn, tell me what you did this weekend! Did you watch TLMOE and drink a mango Sprite like I told you to?! It’s okay if you didn’t. I’m not upset. Just disappointed.
After a nearly content-less week, I really ought to be more apologetic. But I’m not. I’m too busy rejoicing because it’s finally FRIDAY. And that means it’s time for Friday Favorites.
If you aren’t watching The Last Man on Earth, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. It’s a new show created by (and starring) Will Forte. If you like awkward humor, you’ll love it. It’s only six episodes in, so if you have Hulu, I highly recommend you take a couple hours this weekend to catch up on the hilarity.
2 / My New Favorite Drink – Sprite with Mango
I don’t drink soda too often, but this one is the bomb-diggity. I’ve had three this week, and it’s just oh so refreshing. But you know what this bev could use? Vodka. However, it’s only 9am, and drinking before noon is frowned upon in some circles. And some offices. WHATEVER PEOPLE.
I stumbled upon this blog during one of my recent “Holy hot damn we just bought a house no more spending money EVER AGAIN” crusades. The gist is, there are a million and one things I want to do around the new house. And most of them cost many many dollars. So I’m trying to pinch pennies in any and every way I can. This blog has some great ideas for meals on the cheap. Every recipe is broken down by cost per ingredient, cost per serving, and cost per entire meal. Sure most of them aren’t exactly gourmet, but they’re simple and easy and right up my alley.
It’s Friday and today I’m especially thankful for this photog best friend who is kind enough to snap a few photos of Taylor and I at every wedding we attend. Because every decent photo means one less empty picture frame people.
Guess where we’ll be Sunday evening? THE PENTATONIX CONCERT. I bought the tickets for Taylor for Christmas and to be quite honest, with all the craziness around here lately, I almost forgot about them. But I’m so excited to get to see these favorites in concert and get a little date night with my main squeeze.
Even though it should be a pretty quiet Friday evening, I’ve actually got a full weekend planned. I’ve got a few small house projects to tackle, a charity function with my company, and then the PTX concert on Sunday. So be prepared for the wrath of my exhaustion Monday. Muahahaha.
What’s on everyone’s weekend agenda?!
Annnnd the award for most bizarre post title of the week goes to…. YOURS TRULY.
HI! Have you missed me? Have you wondered where I’ve been? Have you started to worry? Are you shaking your head and saying, “Um, NO, calm down you freak it’s only been 48 hours”?! Okay. That’s fine too. Hurtful, but fine.
I’ve been busy. Really busy. Like the pull-your-hair-out-from-stress, lack-of-sleep, forgetting-to-eat, kind of busy. I know. Not my favorite either.
My sentiments this week can primarily be summarized by very bitter thoughts along the lines of, “I’m so glad I bought this beautiful house that I never get to enjoy because I work so much.” I’ve got too much to do and there’s too little time and too little coffee in the world to get it all done.
It’s fine. I’m fine. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE.
But on to this post’s namesake – Taylor’s Green Beans. AKA – The Best Bacon Wrapped Green Beans. At least that’s what I’m calling them. This is the first recipe Taylor has brought home from the station, and for that reason, I think it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Well, that, and the butter + bacon combo. Both very good reasons.
However, the real reason I’m sharing the recipe for these delectable bad boys is because if I’m going to get chubby, I don’t want to do it alone. You suckers are going down with me. So make them. And bask happily in the brown sugary buttery goodness.
The stellar stars of the show are green beans (I used a frozen 12 oz bag, you can use fresh if you’re an overachiever like that), brown sugar, butter, and bacon.
Dear arteries – prepare to clog.
Take your green beans and your bacon, and wrap them up real tight, like so. If I call this next photo an action shot, does that make the blurriness ok?
And while we’re discussing it, let me just say, there are two things in the kitchen at which I suck royally.
1. Making pancakes
2. Wrapping green beans
Which that’s why I let Taylor do all the wrapping work.
Anyway. Repeat the wrapping action until you run out of bacon, and then line them up in pretty little rows on your foil-lined baking sheet.
Now take your butter, throw it in a bowl, and toss it in the microwave. I know, I know what you’re thinking, “But Natalie! Won’t microwaving the butter zap it of all it’s nutrients?!” And I have good news friends! Butter has no nutritional value, so microwave away. Then pour the sweet and savory goodness over your little green bean bundles, and try to resist licking the bowl. Or don’t. That’s your prerogative.
Now toss that sheet of deliciousness in the oven, where the real magic happens. I swear, just the smell of melted butter and golden brown sugar simmering in bacon grease is enough to make your mouth water.
This is also the time when you should get busy making whatever else you’re having for dinner. Oh, just the bacon-wrapped bundles and a side of pink wine, you say? Alright. I support that.
But if you do decide to serve something other than bacon-wrapped green beans and pink wine, I highly recommend the fattiest most delicious comfort foods that you can conjure up. Like this cheddar ranch chicken, or these crock pot mashed potatoes. Both excellent choices.
Don’t let yourself get distracted by your dinner choices and your pink wine, keep your eye on the prize. Or rather, the oven. As soon the bacon looks cooked enough to eat, they’re good to go. Just be careful not to burn the buttery goodness swimming around on your pan. I mean, they’ll still be delicious, they just won’t be near as pretty.
Now go. Make these for dinner. Follow in my footsteps and eat the troubles of your week away.
It’s fine. We’re fine. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE.
The Best Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans
Bacon + Butter + Brown Sugar + Green Beans = YES.
- Bacon (half a package, strips cut in half)
- Green Beans (I just used a bag of frozen whole, but fresh works too!)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Half stick of butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil. Or don't. It's your mess to clean up.
- Take 5-6 of your green beans (frozen, fresh, WHATEVER), wrap the bundle tightly in a half strip of bacon and place on cookie sheet. Repeat until you are out of bacon strips.
- Melt butter and brown sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over bacon/green bean bundles and try to resist licking the bowl clean.
- Sprinkle bundles with salt and pepper until decently seasoned.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes until bacon appears cooked, and then ENJOY!
- This made enough for two generous helpings. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to serve a larger crowd.
Never Serious Blog http://www.neverseriousblog.com/
When I reflect on my weekend, I realize I might have more to show for it if someone could throw me a bone and add a day between Sunday and Monday. Can I get an amen? Or a high-five? Or both? Neither?? Ok.
After a crazy busy week (aren’t they all?), Taylor and I rewarded ourselves with a very chill Friday. That evening, we met a few of his friends for drinks at a local brewery, and were home and in bed watching When Harry Met Sally by ten. Score.
Saturday morning, we managed to sleep in until 10:30. Yes, I said TEN THIRTY. It was glorious and miraculous and other -ous words. I chose to celebrate with lattes and pop-tarts AKA the fanciest brunch ever.
I spent the rest of Saturday lazy-ing around the house tackling teeny tiny projects like unpacking a box of towels and making this bathroom corner slightly less of an eyesore. I did my part, so you do yours and ignore the painters tape and the crooked outlet and just tell me I did a good job.
Saturday evening, Taylor and I got ready and headed out to celebrate this girl’s 26th birthday with a little house party.
I gifted her with a $9 bottle of wine and a charming label. GEEZ YOU’RE WELCOME Lindsay.
I heard this weekend had a Sunday too, but I was too busy unpacking and putting together shelves and a new desk (#likeaboss) to notice. PS – only the bamf-iest of homeowners have purple tools.
And truthfully that was it. Tell me what you did this weekend and also tell me you’re impressed by my girly tools.